Certifiable Crazy Director
KatieBird* Certifiable Crazy Person (2005): 2 out of 10: On the surface, Katiebird has a lot of redeeming qualities. The story while not original is fresh (female serial killer mixed with Frailty like family touch) the acting is well above average for a low budget horror film (even a poor performance such as Todd Gordon’s stiff (this is not a pun) psychiatrist is still better than most.) And the makeup effects and original musical score, again despite some minor faults, are well above average.
So what went so horribly wrong?
Well, the film is a talky affair with not nearly enough plot to fill the 100 minute running time. For a serial killer, Katiebird seems a couple of victims short. The main (only) victim’s killing is graphic but goes on way too long and lacks punch. Those scenes almost resemble a tedious Japanese snuff film (Devil’s Experiment for example) rather than a proper movie.
Oh, and they shoot the entire film with split screen shifting windowpanes that take up maybe three quarters to as little as a third of your screen. Do not adjust your set. No, really spend all the time you want fiddling with the aspect ratio on your remote, it won’t help. If you don’t have a nice large screen plasma TV, the film is unwatchable. If you have a nice big screen the film is headache inducing. Even Woodstock didn’t use this much split screen (and that was a concert film for God’s sake) and Brian De Palma seems like a restrained TV sitcom director by comparison.
This is a shame because what little we can discern of cinematographer Josh Fong’s works seems top notch. But we lose it in this look three places at once stylistic nightmare. Really, you would have to be nuts to purposely torture your audience like this. Come to think of it, you would have to be a certified crazy person.